Mark E Smith: “I’m not going to give all my secrets away”

The Fall leader answers your questions

Trending Now

Fleet Foxes – Shore

Robin Pecknold's tide-like ruminations on ageing, loss and uncertain times

PJ Harvey: “She’s an auteur… she knows what she wants”

The making of To Bring You My Love explored in the new issue of Uncut

The 10th Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2020

William Tyler, New Order, Todd Rundgren, Gwenifer Raymond and much more

Introducing the Ultimate Music Guide to the Grateful Dead

Meeting your heroes can be disappointing. As you’ll read in our new Ultimate Music Guide, when Melody Maker’s Steve...

We caught the Fall frontman in sparkling form, holding forth on the ’70s (“a fucking nightmare”), today’s TV (“fucking pathetic”) and Peter Hook (“a fucking idiot”). You ready? Let’s go… From Uncut’s April 2007 issue (Take 119). Interview: John Robinson


When the revolving doors discharge Mark E Smith into the lobby of a plush central Manchester hotel, they reveal not the ravaged figure with a terrible temper that some reports might suggest, but a man looking well, and one not shy of extending considerable courtesy.


This much, of course, we should have known. If the leader of The Fall has done anything over the 30 years in which he has led his group through their bilious take on modern events, it has been to do exactly the opposite of what you might expect of him. Well, almost.

“Pleased to meet you, sir,” he says, extending a hand. “Let’s go through there and get a drink, shall we?”

Later, as this drink continues in a more informal vein, Mark will charm star-struck Fall fans, strongly recommend married life, and state his conviction that Robert Plant’s band is paid by Hackney council.

In its early stages, however, Mark answers questions contributed by Uncut readers, and does so in the same way he has for many years. Not shy of offering an opinion, protective of his privacy, and particularly sensitive to the notion that he might be seen as a caricature of himself, on some level he’s like Arthur Seaton, the young man played by Albert Finney in Saturday Night And Sunday Morning – “Whatever you say I am, that’s what I’m not.”

Still, there’s no harm in asking him a question, is there?


Latest Issue

PJ Harvey, Tom Petty, Idles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Matt Berninger, Steel Pulse, Hüsker Dü, Laura Veirs, Chris Hillman and Isaac Hayes